The president of Iberia, Javier Sánchez-Prieto, indicated that Iberia’s Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) will affect some 5,000 employees, between 30 and 35% of the workforce and insists that the airline has raised this ERTE “as a contingency plan” in view of the possibility that the ERTE of force majeure that the Government is negotiating will not be extended for the air sector, according to Europa Press.
Iberia buys Air Europa for 500 million to be paid in five years
During an event, which took place this Monday at the Casa de América, to commemorate Iberia’s first flight between Madrid and Buenos Aires, on September 22, 1946, the manager explained to the journalists attending the event that the company has taken that decision “by liability”.
The airline considers that the slowdown in the recovery of travel, together with the growing uncertainty about whether ERTE of force majeure will be applied to the airline sector and under what conditions, have motivated this decision for organizational and productive reasons.
“We believe that ERTEs due to force majeure have been and should continue to be a mechanism that allows us to protect employment,” said the manager, who estimated the workforce that could be affected by this file at around 30-35% “still pending. define”.
The workforce currently has about 15,000 employees, so the new ERTE could affect around 5,000 company workers.
Regarding its duration, Sánchez Prieto indicated that the company considers it appropriate that ERTEs due to force majeure be extended “at least” until the end of the year, since they estimate that activity levels will be reduced in this last quarter.
The airline continues at capacity levels 30-35% lower than 2019, mainly due to restrictions on tourism with the United States, Latin America, Japan and China.
The manager indicated that the company maintains “a continuous dialogue with the unions” and assured that all the measures that have been taken throughout the pandemic have been with the agreement of the unions with whom it maintains a “magnificent” relationship.
No news with the purchase of Air Europa
Sánchez Prieto assured that, for the moment, there are no news regarding the purchase of Air Europa, whose operation is still subject to approval by the European Commission.
He reiterated that the purchase continues to be strategic for the company because they consider it to be good “for the country, for tourism, for the Madrid hub, for customers and for workers.” However, he recalled that there have been other cases of attempted purchase, such as Norwegian, that the company finally decided not to execute.
Regarding the purchase price, he warned that “what is the final photo to make a decision” will have to be seen. “Right now there is a price that is fixed, the price that was agreed was 500 million euros. I think we have to look after the competition process, and see the evolution of the company, if it really needs capital to be injected to see what the final photo is and make a decision, “he concluded.